My attempt to document 40 sunrises in Eastern Cincinnati. Spring 2011.

Sunrise 15: Ault Park (warm spring day and pink magnolias)

You can tell today is a Monday. I got all the way up to the park before I realized that I had forgotten the camera. The last time this happened, the sun rise was so spectacular that I had to make do with my camera phone. This time, however, the sky was overcast. This meant that a difference of 10 minutes didn’t really matter as much. I whipped back home, all down hill, and grabbed the camera from the table. The second ride up the hill wasn’t as hard as the first; being warmed up helps substantially when you’re on a bike.
The forecast for this week looks pretty miserable. Thunderstorms are expected for every morning until friday, when they drop their electrical charge and just become “rain storms”. This morning, however, was a great example on how not to get discouraged just because the forecast sucks. The temperature was warm, the air was thick. I actually ended up taking off my sweatshirt when I got to the overlook – it was that hot. The rain held off until just before I walked in my door (for the second time). In general, sunrise quality withstanding, it was a very promising beginning to an otherwise gloomy sunrise week.

As the sun rise came up behind the eastern hills, I started to see a possible opening in the clouds. I hoped that the hole was deep enough for the sun to be able to pop through. For a few seconds it looked possible, but in the end I only got some nice orange highlights.

That’s alright though, it just might be the most colorful sunrise I get this week.

The clouds had some interesting patterns that were forming over head. The eastern front, likely having dumped its payload over night, was being pushed out by the western thunder heads.

I could see the dark front approaching from the west.

The fog was thick over the Ohio River and it was starting to creep over across Lunken Airfield. You can see a small commuter about to take off while the gettin’s good. Next to the red lights. At this point it was only a matter of time until the storm arrived to make me eat my words about the morning being pleasant and dry.

The focus of today’s sun rise, and most of the last week, has to be Armleder Park. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the park (and dog park on the western side) are looking pretty water-logged. The water has advanced up to the center park “shelter”, and it even looks like it has crept up a foot or two. The Little Miami river has officially taken over the park. But this brings me back to the fishing theory that I touched on last week. I heard rumors that the park may have schools of giant grass carp swimming around, no doubt taking advantage of the soccer fields and prairie grass. Once the rains stop and the water recedes back into the river, I imagine that many large fish will find themselves hiding out in the “deep” part of the prairie – the small fishing pond near the soccer fields. I imagine this will be one of the best years to go pond fishing at Armleder Park. Who knows what monsters will end up taking residence in the tidal pool pond.

The river has become one with the flood plains. Even the fields in the back of the ridge are under water. The valley is having flashbacks of the massive river it used to hold.

This was a first. A huge jet took off from Lunken, definitely the biggest I’ve seen. As big as one you’d expect to travel on internationally. It seemed like a 747 class jet, as unlikely as that is.

A picture for the timelapse. The flooded prarie is starting to creep up the hill to the office buildings.

On the way home I stopped to take a picture of a tree that I have noticed in the past week. Now that the cherries and pears have dropped their blooms, the few blooming trees that are still blasting their colorful coats stand out. Most of the purple magnolias have dropped their pedals as well. But this one particular species bloomed two weeks later than the other magnolias. Its leaves are smaller, and the branches expand in a kind of planar pattern, rather than a blooming bush-like pattern. The pink is so vibrant, especially in low light. Does anyone know what these are? I may be completely wrong, perhaps it isn’t even a magnolia.

These purple hanging flowers must have bloomed in the last week. The bush is hanging across the sidewalk along one of the side-routes I take to get home. As I took this picture the rain started to pour down.

While I had the camera out I wanted to capture this wooden mushroom sculpture that always catches my eye. There are a handful of wooden sculptures in the neighborhood that appear to be carved out of the still-in-the-ground stumps of old trees. I’m not sure if this is a single hunk of stump, I got out of there before I got too soaked. Looking back on the picture, however, I think it is. You can see the ring of the original stump at the base of the mushroom.

Stats from this morning (curiously, it looks like Lunken had a power outage, the data is incomplete).
Sunrise: 6:47am EST
Visibility: 9mi
Temperature: 60F / 16C, (felt 15 degrees hotter than that with the humidity)
Sky: Overcast with cloudy holes, a western moving front
Sunrise: Muffled but orange. At least we got some color!
Bird Chatter: The cardinals were noticeably loud. There were several around dominating the spectrum, almost forcifully
People: A few runners were out taking advantage of the “dry” morning.

10 responses

  1. Tara

    Well ya know I can’t resist!! But first, I love that mushroom sculpture. Apparently now is the time for morel mushroom hunting here in Ohio which I know nothing about and need to educate myself so I can go hunting next year. I hear they are tasty little buggers.
    Tee Lake Resort - Morel Mushroom Picking

    The pink flowering tree is a Dogwood (love!) and the purple bush is really a vine-wisteria. Wisteria is beautiful but can be really invasive. It’s often planted near arbors…
    Wisteria arbor

    All that water in the park below is looking scary. šŸ˜¦

    April 25, 2011 at 9:01 am

    • Thanks Tara! Looks like my original title is inaccurate! Oh well.

      My family used to always go morsel hunting. I’m thinking that I am definitely going to go this year. Even in Ault Park there should be some great opportunities after the rain dies down. Ever heard of this book? Haha it cracks me up, but is highly regarded as one of the best mushrooming books. That guy definitely, uh, loves his mushrooms. Ever heard of “All that the Rain Promises and more”? Relative:

      April 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    • Thanks for the flickr links. That mushroom looks perfect, and that wisteria is dead on.

      April 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm

  2. eremophila

    Gorgeous pics, and your botanical knowledge will expand as you continue your journey:-)
    Love the thought of the fish…….

    April 25, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    • Thanks! That’s half the fun! The internet is nice and all, but nothing beats the old fashioned (if you will) search for knowledge. Often I have to resist simply “googling” it. Where’s the fun in that?

      April 26, 2011 at 8:16 am

  3. Tara

    So you’re a seasoned hunter? Cool. I can’t wait to start looking. I spent a lot of time in the woods as a kid-loved exploring. So much to see! How did your family cook the Morels? Do you just fry them in a pan?

    I never have heard of that book but I’ll be adding it to my library for sure. I couldn’t wait though and picked-up “The Great Encyclopedia of Mushrooms” last night from Half Price Books. šŸ™‚ Course my plan to hunt was derailed but that’s okay. Temporary set-back.

    April 26, 2011 at 6:28 am

    • Let’s just say I’m an experienced “eater” šŸ™‚ I’ve never been hunting but I’ve taken part in the frying of the spoils. Yeah you can fry them up and kind of treat them like friend chicken tenders. Throw them on a sandwhich or with dipping sauce. I’m sure there are lots of ways to do it.

      I need to go up and get some tips from my Uncle George, he’s the pro šŸ™‚

      Just be sure that you’re careful – I don’t know if any fake ones grow around here or not. I’ve never heard of people mistaking morsels, but then again most mushroom hunters you run into have been doing it for awhile šŸ™‚

      April 26, 2011 at 8:13 am

  4. Pingback: Sunrise 142: Ault Park (Unseasonably Warm Sunrise, Guest Sunrise #6) « Ault Park Sunrise

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